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Head coach Brian Brooks has high expectations.
With four starters returning to the St. Joseph-Ogden High School boys basketball team, he should.
Three other players are returning to the team with significant varsity experience.
“I think the expectations are pretty high,” he said. “That being said, we have again increased the strength of our schedule to prepare us for the post season so we have our work cut out for us.”
The returning players include: Nate Michael, Louis Acklin, Corbin Hesterberg, and Chase Patton as starters. The Spartans also return Brent Schluter, Aaron Woller, and Dalton Walsh who all played significant roles on last years team.
“Our strength should be our guard play this year,” Brooks said. “Our major area of concern is rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor as we are undersized down low.”
Brooks said several players are competing to make the eight or nine man rotation.
“Once we get everyone healthy, I think we will have a lot of competition for playing time which is only going to make our team better,” he said.
The Spartans will take part in three tournaments this year including the Leader Classic, the State Farm Holiday Tournament in Bloomington-Normal and the Sangamon Valley Conference Tournament.
Brooks said he expects the SVC to be challenging this year.
“Cissna Park brings a lot back, and will be as good as anyone. Momence, St. Thomas More, and PBL all should be very strong as well,” he said.
Brooks said the team’s non-conference schedule will be challenging as well as the Spartans take on Salt Fork, Unity, Teutopolis, Massac County, as well as two tops teams in the Unity and Riverton Shootouts.